[Page 48]

The Vow-Breaker.

1 CLose by a Mossie Fountains side,
2 A spacious Marble Bason stands;
3 Passing that way, Ardelia there I spy'd;
4 Oft-times, and oft, she washt and dry'd her Hands.
5 Bless me! I cou'd not choose but smile
6 At her Impertinent Toil;
7 For from her Arms the Waters purer fell,
8 Than when she took them from the Well!
[Page 49]
9 So Vapours change their muddy Blew
10 (When rais'd aloft) to fairer Hue;
11 They Rise in Mists and fall in Dew.
12 Ah! I'm Undone; the fear was just
13 That checkt me when I gave my Heart
14 To this fair Nymph, who storm'd at my Mistrust,
15 And Swore from the dear Pledge she'd never part,
16 A while she lodg'd it in her Breast,
17 Where like a Turtle in its Nest
18 It slept, till she (wou'd you believe she cou'd?)
19 Imbru'd her hands in its warm Blood!
20 Then, washing Here, design'd to stain
21 The Innocent Fount, but strove in Vain,
22 Her Hands the Conscious Die Retain.
23 Hence-forth let none your Beauty prize,
24 But such as can be False as You;
25 You who admit no Hearts your Votaries,
26 Save what you make (like Mine) your Victims too,
[Page 50]
27 'Tis evident what you design
28 You'd be in Earnest thought Divine.
29 Then, Goddess, know your Rites amiss proceed,
30 Your Victims Burn before they Bleed;
31 But you Enjoyn your own odd way
32 To Exercise your Absolute sway,
33 And try how Blindly wee'l obey.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The Vow-Breaker.
Author: Nahum Tate

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Source edition

Tate, Nahum, c. 1652-1715. Poems by N. Tate. London: Printed by T.M. for Benj. Tooke ..., 1677, pp. 48-50. [15],133p. (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Harding C 2953].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Nahum Tate